To be frank, I think it is almost impossible to change people’s ideas on just about any subject. Their opinions have been formed over countless hours of careful conditioning. In our case, in our time, in this country, we are conditioned by stable, normal times bothered by only periodic power outages lasting mere seconds. This stability has breed a generation of complacent citizens. And yet, there are us few who recognize that stability is the aberation and historical normalcy is marked by uncertainty. How do we wake everyone up from this stability slumber?
To me, being an evangelical never is the answer. People don’t like a preacher speaking of hell and damnation. Their minds resist the preparation mindset to the point of ridiculing those of us who have it. I was on a recent vacation and carried my EDC+ backpack with me everywhere and especially when we were hiking in the mountains. I faced several instances of comments about how much stuff I was carrying. In fact, my sister even said, “I don’t have to carry any stuff because I am with you.” I was thinking, “Well, what if the SHTF and we have to spend the night in the woods or walk 30 miles back to town?” I have 12 snack bars and a 72 hour bar back in the car along with about a day’s supply of water for one person. How could I possibly supply five people for a period longer than 12 hours?
Regardless, I took their abuse and cheerfully answered their “what’s in the back pack?” questions. At the same time, hurricane Irene was threatening the east coast. I said, “how many people in New Jersey and New York are prepared for a hurricane? What if it was a Cat 3 or Cat 4 instead of the minor Cat 1 hurricane? Do you see why I am prepared wherever I go?” Maybe, just maybe I got through to my young nephews and made an impression on my sister. My wife thinks I am nuts, but at least does not ridicule me. She know that I am looking out for her as well as myself. I hate to say it, but one day I would love to say to her, “I told you so” as she eats spiced beans and rice from the solar oven. 😉
At the end of the day, the best we can do is act as an example and pick our opportunities to influence people into adopting a preparedness mindset. Then, let people do what they will. You cannot change them. Period.